Saturday, January 28, 2006

Skynet Is Here. Judgement Day Forthcoming.

Codemorse has a "Sitemeter" that allows me to see who visits the site, and why. It's nifty, and it's niftier to see how my readership has grown (from me and one other guy to me and ten other guys!).

Checking it today, I noticed that the last person to visit me came from this server:

DetailDomain NameVisit TimePage
Views
Visit Length
1
skynet.beJan 28 20069:38:12 am22:23


Yes, it's as James Cameron feared. Skynet is online.

At any moment, I'm expecting a cybernetic organism - living tissue over a metal endoskeleton - to burst into my apartment. If I might make a request: When the robots come to take me away, could you send one that looks like Kristanna Loken, and not Arnie or Robert Patrick? Thanks, Skynet!

Love,
Me.

Color Me "Surprised"

Well, I don't often eat my words (with the way I write, it'd be like trying to swallow a garbage bag of doritos). But I'd like to think that one of the things that distinguishes Codemorse from some partisan sites is an ability to consider other viewpoints and to give them credit when they strike me as sound, or reasonable.

So, it's with a pleasant sort of surprise that I say "Libertas," the conservative film site I've previously dismissed as being elitist and blindly-partisan, has turned out to be something a little more than I'd previously described (although "Jummy," their rather over-zealous representative, has continued to behave like an ass). Over on their site, Michael Hutchison and I have been going back and forth on "V for Vendetta," and our conversation's been intelligent, respectful, and (for me, anyway) informative.

Click HERE to read it.

Scroll down to the comment section of the post, and past all the Munich nonsense. There's an actual intellectual debate going on about the merits of "V," the violence of the Matrix, the politics of the Wachowski's, and the condemnation of films that one hasn't seen.

Friday, January 27, 2006

"Interesting" Perspectives

From Newsweek:

"At no point are we not going to value the sanctity of life. We would resuscitate him."
-Prison spokesperson Vernell Crittendon, on a request by California's oldest death-row inmate to let him die if he went into cardiac arrest before his execution. The situation didn't arise. Allen was executed, as planned, at the age of 76.

That makes zero sense.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Satire As A Weapon (Or, "This is WAR, Mrs. Peacock!")

Verily, thou shalt laugh thy ass off:

Q. Now some crazy people say the president broke some silly old laws like FISA and the National Security Act and the Fourth Amendment. Are these crazy people crazy?

A. They sure are! Maybe those laws worked back in 1978 back when Leonid Brezhnev was snortin coke with Ayatollah Khomeini and groovin to the hits of the Bee Gees, but in today's dark and dangerous times they just aren't enough.

Q. Things sure have changed since the innocent days of mutually assured destruction! But is it legal for the president to ignore the law?

A. Maybe not according to plain ol stupid ol regular law, but we're at war! You don't go to war with regular laws, which are made outta red tape and bureaucracy and Neville Chamberlain. You go to war with great big strapping War Laws made outta tanks and cold hard steel and the American Fightin Man and WAR, KABOOOOOOM!

Q. How does a War Bill become a War Law?

A. It all begins with the president, who submits a bill to the president. If a majority of both the president and the president approve the bill, then it passes on to the president, who may veto it or sign it into law. And even then the president can override himself with a two-thirds vote.

Q. See it's the checks and balances that make all the difference in our democratic system.

.....
Q. Can the president eat a baby?

A. If that baby has suspected ties to al Qaeda, then it's the president's duty to eat it - for the sake of national security.

Q. The president doesn't want to eat sweet, delicious babies. He just wants to protect America from the growing threat of a rogue baby insurgency.

A. Exactly. And nobody will have more compassion for that succulent baby barbecue than him.


There's more. Lots more. Click the link above and laugh and laugh until the tears roll down your face and you realize that you aren't laughing, you're crying, and your pathetic mewling is being recorded from deep-space via super-secret satellite so that you can never, ever run for President without the Wiretapping Veterans For Truth calling you a snivelling crybaby coward and writing nasty books about it.

(heads-up, courtesy of Kung Fu monkey)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Freestyle Wheelbarrow?


Just when you think the world can't get any sillier, it does. That's why the world is such a wonderous place.

Apparently, "Extreme Wheelbarrow," or "Freestyle Wheelbarrow," is an up-and-coming "X-treme" sport. I've no idea why. But I have to admit, it looks hilarious. I got my first exposure to this soon-to-be-co-opted-by-Mountain Dew activity on a rerun of the Tonight Show (sidenote: Dennis Miller - still unfunny, now with added, uncomfortable rage), and I was deeply, deeply amused.

Also, if you type or read the word "Wheelbarrow" enough, it ceases to have any meaning at all and just looks bizarre. I do this, so you don't have to.

The American Freestyle Wheelbarrow Association

Wheelbarrow Freestyle UK

Coulter No Longer Masturbating Alone

It's a collegiate rite of passage to plaster photos/posters of smokin' hot women on your dorm room walls; right next to big, black and white, pirated images from "Reservoir Dogs," "Animal House," or "Old School."

This urge to fly your colors seems to pass after the freshman year, once it's realized that there are actual, real-life women walking around on your campus, and that the enormous image of Carmen Electra over your bed probably isn't helping you woo any of them.

But what if you're a young conservative, just headed off to the ivy-hung, Ivory Towers of Liberal Higher Education? What are you supposed to hang on your walls with ticky-tack and doublesided tape? Sure, Carmen's hot....but she's suspiciously progressive.

Luckily, Young America's Foundation has your answer.



Yes, now your furtive, freshman self-gratification can be done to the boney visage of conservative commentary's most fetishized lady. If only they'd included a few of her more "provocative" comments beneath her tawny locks!

"Liberals don't want to fight terrorism. You want there to be lots of 9/11's"

"My only regret about Timothy McVeigh is that he did not go to the NY Times building"

"Americans understand that Manhattan is the Soviet Union"

"
When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty.We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors."

"The problem with women voting -- and your Communists will back me up on this -- is that, you know, women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it."

To a disabled Vietnam vet: "People like you caused us to lose that war."

"My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that's because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism."


Ssssssexy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Codemorse Collides With V for Vendetta


Scroll down to read the newest posts at Codemorse

Head on over to Collider.com to read my thoughts on V for Vendetta, the new film produced by - and supposedly ghost-directed by - the Wachowski Brothers (of Matrix fame).

Here's a brief sample:
I don’t know how VFV is going to be received, though I can make a fairly educated guess. You’ll have a few ratings-whore pundits shouting about the movies immorality, and an equally obnoxious group of radicals who do stupid shit like set fires and spray-paint the anarchy symbol. The rest of us will thank God for our continued sanity (whether inborn or pharmaceutically prescribed) and proceed to make our own judgments. But whether or not we end up loving them, movies like VFV need to be seen. Art is an important part of our national dialogue, and without it, we lose our best and most expressive means of social commentary.
I'm actually really proud of the piece, and I hope you enjoy it.

Go forth, and feed my shriveled ego.

Carzzzz...


I remember seeing a trailer for Pixar's upcoming Cars movie in front of something, but I don't remember where, and I don't really remember the trailer. This is not unusual, as my brain was recently replaced by a large wheel of cheese.

Dairy products aside, I don't know much about this Cars movie. I know that I've enjoyed every Pixar film. The Toy Story flicks were charming, Finding Nemo is chock-a-block with heart and a deliriously magical Ellen DeGeneres (one of three sentences I never thought I'd write), the Incredibles is quite possibly the best Superhero movie ever made, and Monsters Inc. is cute. A Bug's Life was alright. Not great (no feature film starring anyone from the Kids in the Hall is apparently capable of greatness), but better than most of the stuff out there.

Pixar's track record is impressive. So Cars will probably end up being cute, fun, enjoyable, and the eventual bane of DVD player-owning parents everywhere. But I have to say, based on what I've read about the plot, that Cars sounds less than thrilling.

Aspiring-champion racecar Lightning McQueen is on the fast track to success, fame and everything he's always hoped for - until he takes an unexpected detour on dusty Route 66. His have-it-all-now attitude is thrown into a tail spin when a small-town community that time forgot shows McQueen what he's been missing in his high-octane life.

As someone on Chud points out, that's the plot to Doc Hollywood, starring Michael J. Fox.

Now, I like Doc Hollywood. It's cute. It's one of those home-hungover-on-a-sunday-morning flicks that makes the thunderous pounding in your skull go away, just a little bit. But I've seen Doc Hollywood. There's really no need to remake it. Especially with talking cars.

Add to that the fact that "Larry the Cable Guy" is apparently in this thing, and I go from interested to sarcastically rolling my eyes in 60 seconds. Larry the Cable Guy is a sleeveless hick-comedian you can catch on Comedy Central's omnipresent Blue Collar Comedy Tour/Blue Collar TV marathons. He's the guy who, apropos of nothing, likes to yell "GIT 'ER DONE!" He's phenomenally successful.

I hate him. He's terminally unfunny. (sample joke: [He spots something behind him] "Aw, those are my shadows," [he says, relieved] "I thought a couple black guys were sneaking up behind me." [Huge laugh])

He's not even "Blue Collar," fer chrissakes. Daniel Lawrence Whitney ("Larry's" real name) was born in Nebraska, where he attended private school. He then moved with his family to Palm Beach, which is sort of the fundamental opposite of blue collar.

All of this has me thinking that Cars will be less of a fun flick, and more of a secret recipe for the end of the world. A CGI remake of Doc Hollywood, starring Larry the Cable Guy as a talking car? Open the seventh seal!

(Read David Cross' "Open letter to Larry the Cable Guy" HERE)

MPAAy-yi-yi

Over at AICN, Drew McWeeny (A.K.A. "Moriarty; A.K.A. The screenwriter of John Carpenter's "Cigarette Burns") has a review up of "This Film Is Not Yet Rated," a documentary on the MPAA - the group that decides what rating (e.g.: "G," "PG," etc.) a movie ends up getting before it hits the theaters.

I thought the review was really interesting. You might, too.

The people who decide what entertainment is allowed to be distributed to mainstream theaters and advertised in major media outlets... arguably the most powerful force in American film today... and it’s a complete secret as to who is actually making those decisions. No one is accountable....They can just take something that someone has invested years of their life into and they can slap a rating on it that guarantees that it never plays in 90% of the theaters in this country and that it won’t be carried by major retail chains when it goes to home video, and they can make sure that the film never really gets a chance to be seen by the general public, and they don’t ever have to answer for that. Does that strike anyone as fair or just or even rational?

Check it out.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Weep With Me

In case you're curious, the lead story on tonight's local New York Fox News?

The one-year anniversary of a child's death by city snow-plow.

The number two story? YOU may get to watch Amy Fischer reunite with Joey Buttafuco and his ex-wife!

Can we stop pretending that Fox is run by human beings, please?

....please?

Actions, Please. Not Words.

Apparently, yesterday was National Sanctity of Human Life day. Did you know this? I did not.

From the White House:
When we seek to advance science and improve our lives, we must always preserve human dignity and remember that human life is a gift from our Creator.

National Sanctity of Human Life Day is an opportunity to strengthen our resolve in creating a society where every life has meaning and our most vulnerable members are protected and defended including unborn children, the sick and dying, and persons with disabilities and birth defects.

That's nice and inspiring. Good stuff. In fact, I could not agree any more strongly with the President's words here.

But there's the little matter of this:



And this:




And this:



Call me a leftist kook. Call me a moral equivocator. But respecting the sanctity of life requires extending that philosophy to all life. If we are to involve ourselves in the private decision of a woman to abort her pregnancy (an action that this new Day implicitly encourages), then we must also be willing to involve ourselves in the lives of people who have made it from the womb, and stumbled in real life.

I often hear Pro-Life activists talking about how life doesn't begin only when a child is born. Well, life doesn't end then, either. And our responsibility toward one another should not end there. I like the President's words. They're heartfelt, and they're inspiring. Now, if he'd put his considerable money where his mouth is, we'd be getting somewhere.

(photos courtesy of Jeffrey Feldman at DailyKos)

You See (L)ame (A)ctions

Mr. Edroso schools us:

I see an UCLA alumni group is posting a hit list of leftist professors, and offering students money to monitor said professors' activities....I have said it before, and before that, and before that even, but I will repeat it here: what prevents these aggrieved students from transferring to Liberty University, where Jerry Falwell will see to it that they never hear another leftwing prof again?
If these people loved education as much as they loved to bitch and moan, this country would be in great shape.


Well said, if a little snippy.

What's that? You don't want to go to Liberty University? It isn't as prestigious? That's the trade-off, living in a free-market society. Vote on the "liberality" of these institutions by funding the ones you agree with. Paying students to rat out their "leftist" Professors? Creepy, underhanded, and un-American, says I.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Foglio's Folio


Phil Foglio's a mad genius.

I've been a fan of his artwork since I first saw it in the pages of Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures book series. There's something about his cartoonish style that just grabs the eye. It's a personal dream to have him illustrate something I write someday.

I hadn't thought about him in a while, but while reorganizing the book shelves, I came across his distinctive illustrations and decided to look him up on the 'net. See what he's been up to.

Are you a fan of Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett's book, "Good Omens"? Me too. Over on Foglio's studio website, he's published a "fan art" adaptation of a bit of the book. It's fun, funny stuff, and well worth a few minutes of your time. This is the kind of thing blogs are good for. Pointing you toward little-seen cool stuff.

Nice to see Foglio's still drawing. Now, if I can just get him to take a look at this story I'm writing with a friend..

Food For Thought

One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting. The P.S.U.C. militiamen whom I knew in the line, the Communists from the International Brigade whom I met from time to time, never called me a Trotskyist or a traitor; they left that kind of thing to the journalists in the rear. The people who wrote pamphlets against us and vilified us in the newspapers all remained safe at home, or at worst in the newspaper offices of Valencia, hundreds of miles from the bullets and the mud. And apart from the libels of the inter-party feud, all the usual war-stuff, the tub-thumping, the heroics, the vilification of the enemy—all these were done, as usual, by people who were not fighting and who in many cases would have run a hundred miles sooner than fight.

-George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

(courtesy of actus)